Fashion

The Line

I was despondently scrolling though instagram on Tuesday morning with no energy and I saw an ad for a sample sale. It was about 8:30 or something and aside from working on my side hustle, I had nothing to do. I had credit cards and cash in the bank and nothing to do and there was a sample sale… it took a minute but the light finally went on and I was out.

Well, two hours later after a shower, some basic eye makeup, a natural hair untwist and fluff, an underwear search, a bra search, a leggings or nothing debate, an outfit switch, a sock search, a shoe debate it was time to leave. Typing this I feel like I should have worn my denim jacket, but this is all in the past. But it would have been more downtown, Soho, punk chic cool. Next time.

12:00 pm

the line at 12… two and a half blocks from the sale

I got to the city from Brooklyn at about 10:45 and managed to walk in the complete wrong direction. I always get turned around in this neighborhood. After stopping to google map myself, then realizing that I came out of the train station pointed in the right direction, I stomped off to Wooster Street. Got to Wooster Street and started walking down the line of fashion mobbers waiting for bargains. Kept walking past West Broadway. Two and a half blocks later I fetched up on the end of the line and stopped. I didn’t even think about going home. This was the most exciting thing I’d done since quarantine.

1:15 pm

Progress. I have reached the corner!

As with anything fashion related, The thing you think is cool will make you look kind of stupid to passers by. People kept asking what the line was for. Someone made the mistake of asking me. I said the line was for food stamps.

2:30 pm

Halfway up the block, hallway to Starbucks

So time passes and I’m still outside on the line. But! I have a ticket, which roots me in place like a paper anchor. I have a claim now, a real stake in line real estate. I cannot be dislodged. With my newfound air of privilege I ask the woman behind me to hold my spot while I grab a tasty beverage. I didn’t even wait to get a drink made, just grabbed chips and a bottled tea and went back to my spot.

3:30 pm

when you can see the front of the line…

So it’s been three and a half hours, but now I’m look ahead and I can see Wooster Street, a big improvement. They were only letting in groups of twenty five, and the line handler said that we would be in the next group. People were dropping out, and it made me naively believe that it was only another half an hour.

4:00 pm

halfway to Wooster looking at the only other black person on the line

I felt a tiny frisson of excitement at this point because I could count how many people were ahead of me and I was definitely in the next group of twenty five. I didn’t fantasize about what I would buy, I was just excited about being outside for so long.

4:30 pm

A wristband!!!

So now I’m so close that I got a wristband. This is where things got dicey because while I was quietly happy and ready to move on signal, the people ahead of me were mad and wanted to fight. The entitlement kicked in and there were questions about how long people really got to shop. Why were we still out here? What? Why? How come? And then It was 5:15 or so and they waved me forward and I forgot about taking pics because I had half an hour to hunt for treasure.

Mission accomplished:

So after five and a half hours my line cohort moved forward into the promised land. A bare bones store front with racks of extra small clothing, tables of luxe handbags and shoes and bins of purses and smaller accessories. Plus a jewelry counter. I had already made a mental budget, and once I saw that the clothes were a no go ( I can’t do anything with extra small, plus the clothing was already picked over), I went straight to handbags, then hopped to shoes, then dug around for purses and phone cases and hit up the jewelry counter. Rung up and checked out and back on the streets in twenty minutes.

There were some nasty cats hanging around the door, mad because they couldn’t get in and making comments and trying to peep in people’s bags as they passed by, so I beat my feet to the train station in case they were the type to snatch and grab. I’m not usually carrying large shopping bags of designer merchandise so I was nervous all the way home. I was not trying to lose my $550 investment. I got a decent amount of stuff and I kept a phone case and super cute purse for myself, and the rest goes into my side hustle inventory. Now I feel brave enough to hit the thrift stores again.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMARKETBK